Elena Rybakina shares secret behind her Roger Federer-like on-court trait

Just like Federer, Rybakina is outstanding at keeping her cool and staying calm in pretty much every situation.

by Dzevad Mesic
Elena Rybakina shares secret behind her Roger Federer-like on-court trait
© Getty Images Sport - Chris Hyde

Elena Rybakina says her demeanor resembling the one of Roger Federer is something natural as the 24-year-old Kazakh highlights that being calm and never showing too many emotions is just her character. 

Since winning her first Grand Slam at 2022 Wimbledon and establishing herself as one of the best in the game, Rybakina has also become known as someone who just takes care of the business while never being too high or too low in any situation. 

The latest example of that came in the Miami Open semifinal as Rybakina pretty calmly overcame a situation in which a good number of players would lose their cool and probably start to panic. 

After getting bageled by Victoria Azarenka in the second set, Rybakina didn''t panic and managed to stabilize her game at the start of the third set. Then, leading 5-4 and serving for the match against Azarenka, Rybakina faced her first break points of the third set in those moments and the former world No. 1 from Belarus managed to get the break back. But like many times before in similar situations, the 24-year-old didn't panic, instead took it calmly and focused on getting the edge again. 

The third set ultimately went into a tie-break, which Rybakina started with a 3-0 lead before going 6-1 up and converting her second match point for a 6-4 0-6 7-6 (2) win.

After the match, a reporter told Rybakina her staying calm in every situation reminds of Federer and asked her how she does that.

"I think it's just the character, but also if sometimes you can notice that I'm also negative. Of course I need to maybe bring more positive energy (on my side) and to show (that to) the opponent. But I think this tournament, as I said, it's just such difficult for me physically that the only thing I was thinking not to be negative, because first matches I was a little bit (off)," Rybakina said.

"Now I knew that I couldn't lose energy on this these kinds of things, I was just trying to keep calm and just focus on every point, because I knew that's the only way to get through this."

Elena Rybakina
Elena Rybakina© Getty Images Sport - Darrian Traynor

An interesting statement Rybakina made on her calm and stoic demeanor in 2023

Moments after winning Wimbledon and becoming a Grand Slam champion in the most prestigious tournament in the world, Rybakina celebrated with a simple fistbump - shook Ons Jabeur's hand at the net - and sat on her bench waiting for the trophy ceremony. Rybakina's Wimbledon win celebration went viral as many were stunned but also found it funny how she reacted in such a simple way like winning Wimbledon wasn't a big deal. 

But nothing changed after 2022 Wimbledon despite the increased attention, pressure and expectations on Rybakina as the Kazakh remained the same when it comes to her on-court demeanor. Last year, Rybakina said her calm and stoic demeanor actually may be giving her the edge in some matches because no one except her knows what she is going through in certain moments.

“I'm trying to be calm and not show if I'm upset or angry... No matter the situation. It helps me and maybe also sometimes confuses the opponents, especially in the beginning when nobody knew me. It took them longer to figure out my weak spots," Rybakina said in late 2023.

"Maybe other players are too angry or are showing too many emotions. They work to become calmer, for me it’s the opposite which is a bit rare...

"If I’m not playing well and the shots aren’t working, I need to show my opponent I’m still there and I’m still fighting. This is something I’m trying to work on and something I need to improve."

Elena Rybakina
Elena Rybakina© Getty Images Sport - Lintao Zhang

Rybakina: Of course i feel emotions

In the last two years, some were describing Rybakina as "cold" or "emotionless." But the 24-year-old Kazakh doesn't agree with that all as earlier this year she admitted that she feels and experiences emotions just like anyone else but she just knows how to hide them pretty well. 

“Well no, I'm trying to hide it. Of course, inside I can be nervous or also frustrated. It can be a lot of emotions. I just try not to show it and try to focus on my game. Of course, I’m calmer than maybe some other players," Rybakina said in the first week of this season in Brisbane.

Elena Rybakina
Elena Rybakina© Getty Images Sport - Christopher Pike

Meanwhile, Rybakina is set to fight Danielle Collins in the Miami final for her first title at the tournament. If Rybakina beats Collins, she will win her third title of the year, having previously won Brisbane and Abu Dhabi.

Elena Rybakina Roger Federer